New England Air Museum
Burnelli CBY-3 'Loadmaster'

Burnelli CBY-3 LoadMaster Restoration

Gift of Occidental Aircraft Corporation

This CBY-3, built by the Canadian Car and Foundry, was the last of Vincent Burnelli's "lifting fuselage" aircraft. Two Wright engines were mounted side-by-side on the forward edge of the fuselage and instead of a conventional tail the CBY-3 had twin tail mounted booms that extended rearward from the main fuselage. While most aircraft designs have circular cross-section fuselages, the Burnelli has a 20 foot wide rectangular cross-section. The fuselage is in the shape of an airfoil which allows it to assist the wings in providing lift. This results not only in a wide-body cabin, but also gave the plane impressive performance. It could carry a ton more payload than a DC-3 and needed only 650 feet to takeoff.

A prolific designer, Burnelli believed that his design was stronger, safer and more efficient than conventional designs. Although eight prototypes were built between 1923 and 1945, none gained acceptance from the aircraft industry nor achieved production.

This is the sole remaining Burnelli example and the only CBY-3 and was flown until the 1960s. A full restoration has begun to preserve this significant piece of aviation history.

Please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have any information or comments on, or recollections of the Burnelli CBY-3.


Length: 54' 6"
Wingspan: 86'
Height: 20' 8"
Empty Weight: 16,900 lbs.
Gross Weight: 27,000 lbs.
Cruise Speed: 170 mph
Maximum Speed: 235 mph
Range: 1,025 mi.
Service Ceiling: 24,000'
Powerplant: 2 X Wright R-2600-13
Year: 1945
Registration: N17N
Location: Restoration Building


Aircraft Collection Index | Restoration Program